Ex-All Black defensive coach joins Kenilworth

New Kenilworth head coach David Ellis.
New Kenilworth head coach David Ellis.

Kenilworth RFC have appointed former France and New Zealand defence coach David Ellis as head coach, completing the club’s set up for the 2018/19 campaign.

The role will see Ellis join forces with Will Maisey and George Oram who will work as backs coach and forwards coach, respectively, alongside their playing commitments at Coventry Rugby Club.

Ellis began his career in rugby league, making over 700 appearances for clubs including Castleford Tigers, Doncaster, Keighley Cougars and Brisbane.

He then switched codes and turned his attentions to coaching in the 15-a-side game when he joined Racing Club de France in 1999.

He went on to become defence coach for the France national side in 2000, a role he held for 11 years.

During that time he won the Six Nations five times (including three Grand Slams) and helped mastermind France’s famous victory over New Zealand in the 2007 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals before reaching the Rugby World Cup final four years later in New Zealand.

In addition, Ellis worked with the All Blacks during the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour and coached Tonga for two years between 2012 and 2014.

Ellis also brings a vast amount of professional club rugby experience to the Glasshouse Lane-based club.

During his career he has held coaching roles at Gloucester and London Irish, as well as across the water at Racing, Bordeaux, Castres, Brive and Lyon.

Jai Purewal, director of rugby at Kenilworth, said: “It is absolutely fantastic that David has chosen to join Kenilworth RFC.

“We are a club with a rich tradition and a big future made even more exciting with this latest appointment.

“Our coaching team rivals that of most clubs across the region, providing our largely home-grown squad with a great opportunity to go on and find success.

“Off-the-field plans are also well under way to provide facilities equal to our ambitious coaching team for the benefit of all Kenilworth RFC players and supporters alike.”

Kenilworth, who rounded off pre-season with a 62-17 victory at home to the Broadstreet Development XV, begin their Midlands Two West (South) campaign at Old Laurentians on Saturday.